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J Anat. 1992 Jun;180 ( Pt 3):401-17.

The morphology and innervation of facial vibrissae in the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii.

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  • 1Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra.


The morphology of the vibrissal follicles on the mystacial pad of the tammar wallaby is similar to that seen in other species except that the follicles lack a ringwulst or ring sinus. Instead, the mesenchymal sheath is thickened around the central region of the hair shaft. The follicle is innervated by both deep and superficial vibrissal nerves. The deep nerve enters as 4-11 fascicles which can be in close proximity or widely distributed around the hair. C1 follicles received more myelinated nerve fibres (252 +/- 31) than the smaller C4 follicles (174 +/- 43). The deep vibrissal nerve supplies the thickened mesenchymal sheath, the narrow 'waist' region above and the majority of endings in the inner conical body (ICB), while the superficial nerves provide a sparse innervation to the ICB and rete ridge. Receptors present in the follicle were of 4 types: (1) Merkel cells, especially numerous in the outer root sheath of the 'waist' region and occasionally in the ICB and rete ridge; (2) and (3) lanceolate and lamellated endings parallel to the hair shaft in both the mesenchymal thickening and the 'waist' region where they were particularly dense; (4) free nerve endings in the mesenchymal thickening, 'waist' region and ICB. No corpuscular, bulbous or Ruffini endings were seen. The innervation of the intervibrissal fur was similar to that described in other species.

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